Following rules….fact of life

I always have such mixed feelings about things that involve school.  I worked in one for almost 15 years so I tend to stand behind them.  I’ve also gotten into a lot of “war of words” with other bloggers.  This story here though has had me thinking.  I personally feel it’s about way more than the pledge.  I feel that us, as a country need to stand behind each other.  If you don’t want to recite it, that’s fine but I feel you should stand.  I feel it’s something that we, as a united front and country, all do together and that it bonds us somehow.  Also at wartime, I feel it says thank you to our soldier’s.

Now I also agree that rules are rules and I find it so sad in today’s times that students, who are usually young kids, seem to question everything.  I have two boys so nobody needs to tell me about kids breaking rules.  Mine did from time to time and while there were times I didn’t always agree with the school, they severed whatever punishment they were handed.  I felt if they knowingly broke a rule, it was up to them to pay the fine.

I hear all the time things like 3, 13 year old girls suspended for hurling missiles.  Apparently word got out what these girls were planning to do so the principal warned them there would be serious consequences.  Only three girls did it while giggling the entire time and then were “shocked” when they got into trouble and then their parents got mad at the school?!?!  I know throwing food doesn’t sound like a big deal but I worked in a building at one point that had over 200 kids in one lunch period.  Had everyone gotten into the act, it could have gotten very out of control and dangerous.

I find it sad when kids get into trouble at school and parents don’t take responsibility for it.  I feel it sets the tone that kids can do what they want to do and therefore, don’t have to follow rules because mom and dad think the rule shouldn’t apply to “their kids.”  We as adults have to follow the rules or laws.  We can’t park where it says no parking.  We can’t speed because we think the speed limit is to low so why do people feel they should be able to tell their kids that the school rules “don’t apply to them” or give them some other excuse to “express” themselves?  I feel partly, that the rules of the school help the school run smoothly as well as teach children that there are also rules in life that we as people have to follow.

So fellow parents, would you argue with the school if your child got into trouble or broke school rules or would you make them pay the consequences?

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18 Responses to Following rules….fact of life

  1. SKL says:

    I think if it’s a known rule that isn’t way out there, kids have two choices: follow it, or work to change it in a civilized, respectful way.

    There are times when I would not agree with a child’s punishment. Here’s an example. My sister was in 8th grade. There was a school rule that all students report to home room at 8am and get permission before going anywhere else. My sister arrived at school at 7:50 and stopped in the restroom to comb her hair. (She walked a mile to school, and being 13, wanted to look her best upon entering her classroom.) Her homeroom teacher saw her in there and gave her a detention for not asking permission to go to the restroom BEFORE 8am. My mom refused to enforce the detention on the ground that (a) there was no clear rule that kids aren’t free to use the restroom before 8am, and (b) it was ridiculous to require a 13-year-old to get permission to comb her hair before class. However, in no way was disrespect encouraged; she was advised to ask permission in the future, now that she was aware of this ridiculous rule. But upon the first “offense,” it just seemed that the teacher was being vindictive to give her a detention under those circumstances.

    I also recall the first school spanking I received. I was in 1st grade, and I had been playing with another child who accidentally knocked something over. The teacher admitted that she knew I did not knock it over, but hit me anyway because I was playing with that child. She wrote a note to my mom saying she had swatted me because she does not want me playing with that girl. Hmm. I didn’t stop being friends with that girl. Was that disrespect of the teacher? If so, it was justified in my opinion. (Not sure whether this had anything to do with the fact that my playmate was the only Hispanic child in the school, who ended up switching schools after 1st grade.)

    Then, there were the lunch ladies who required us to eat everything we were served, including sour milk and burnt cookies. Was it disrespectful to try to get around this rule? At the time it felt more like self-preservation. But we were never rude about it.

    The people in charge of schools aren’t always the brightest crayons in the box. I’ve seen some pretty stupid things issuing from principals’ offices on down. But it’s necessary to maintain order in a school. And I also feel that respect for adults is of high importance. Why should anyone make an effort to help my kids if all they get in return is disrespect? My kids will be instructed to be polite and follow the rules, then come and tell me if they think a rule should be changed, and we’ll consider what to do about it.

  2. theresa says:

    Joy I thought that your story was very good. I feel it is very important to follow the rules of school. It does teach the students to show respect for the rules and for the teachers. There have been times my boys come home from school mad at what the teacher may have said or punishment. So I have learned to ask questions before jumping to any conclusion as to what happened. Then I email or call the teacher to find out what happened on their end to see if my son was truly in the wrong. Nine out of ten times it is my son’s fault for the problem or the misunderstanding. So then yes I back up the school. I know a few kids that are bad trouble makers at the high school. And their parents will not back up the school at all. This is very wrong for they are a main cause in the students bad disrespect for the school rules. The students that did not say the pledge where out of line. I was very surprised to find out that they were in the Jr High school. If they have no respect now where will they be in three years in their lives? People wonder why our country is out of line with so many things. The respect that I was taught in school is gone!!! The politically correct has gotten WAY out if line!!!!! That is another subject all its own.

  3. nikki says:

    I do agree to a point rules are rules and should be followed. I don’t have too much experience since my son is only in 2nd grade and he has never been in trouble. THANK GOD!! When the time comes if it does, he will suffer any consequence to his actions if he is in the wrong. The only incident we’ve had to deal with was my son was being bullied, A boy pushed him down and kicked him. It was taken to the principle but I was never notified. My son told me about it. Nothing happened to this boy who did this, NOTHING! Bullying is a major problem, it can lead to worse and I won’t have my son bullied. My husband went to the school and told the principle that our son WILL fight back next time because the school is doing nothing. Of course he did not agree with my husband I’m sure. There are so many rules that are kinda petty but what about the ones that protect children from this. Those need to be enforced better. I agree it lays a lot on the parents to teach their kids respect for others and I do blame that kids parents but I also blame the school system!

  4. nikki says:

    Oh yea and I do think you should stand up and pledge you allegiance to our flag. Having family in the service I feel very strongly about that. I may get slack for this but I’ll say it anyway. Who wants a man (Obama) that will not put his hand on his heart and pledge his allegiance to our flag to be the next president of the United States!! I saw it first hand and it made me sick!!!

  5. Joy says:

    This might get a little long winded but I want to stress a couple of things.

    First of all there is no excuse for bullies. I reacted very strongly to bullying on the playground or lunchroom. Also, this was just me. I was the “nice” playground/lunch lady. I took good care of everyone and they all knew they could come to me and I’d be fair. You can ask Jason and Toby. I never gave “pink slips” that weren’t deserving. I always gave the benefit of doubt to the kids and more often than not, I’d just go talk to them or make them take a time out without reporting it to the teacher. But there were times I had no other choice. My second year I had a kid who deliberately pushed a child off the top of the play structure and he was my neighbor. He was a terribly behaved boy who to this day, is “off.” Anyway I had to report this. His mother came to school the next day and I came walking around the corner and told her point blank that I saw him do it and so did everyone else. He told her “he didn’t do it.” Kids LIE. They really do.

    There are “mean” teachers as well as other school employee’s. I once applied for a job and lost it to another worker in the building who they wanted off the playground because she was so hard on the kids. The didn’t want to “lose” me so I lost the opportunity for advancement. How is that fair?

    My last two years in the district were pretty bad. I had an apple thrown at me and I couldn’t do a thing about it. Parent’s you know. I also got pushed by a boy who was bigger than I was and he told the principal that he thought someone was going to hit me so he “pushed me out of the way.” Thankfully his mother did what I did on another playground so she knew he was lying. She saw to it he had in school suspension for the day.

    I’d also like to point out all the kids with behavioral issues. They all have IEP’s which stands for Individualized Education Program. If for example a student in special ed gets into trouble on the playground, it’s handled by their special ed teacher so it “looks like” nothing is happening to them to other students. I had that happen all the time when a kid would say “so and so didn’t get into trouble” but yes, they did because it’s written on their card and they had to show it to their teachers after lunch. So things aren’t always what they appear to be.

    One more thing, like SKL pointed out, some teachers are just mean. Some people in general just are and I’m not sure what we can do about that. All I can say was when my boys got in trouble at school, whether I agreed or not, they served what the school said because I saw to much.

  6. theresa says:

    I have a coment for Nikki. I think if this bulling has been going on for sometime then yes your son should learn to fight back. Then the bulling may stop when the kids realize that he will stand up for himself. My son on the other hand. In grade school I had to teach him to shut his mouth, put his hands in his pocket and walk away. My son would hit any one he wanted to even if they bumped him by accident. He wouldn’t hit hard but that was not the point. Now he is in high school and helps out the little guy instead of the bullies. I am so proud of him. Give your husband a hug for standing up for our country!!!! I don’t like the war at all. But I will suport the service people!!!!!!!! 20 some years ago I was in the missions work. I traveled to the third world countries. Most American’s have NO clue how good we have it here!!! They just take and take and think the world owes them. We have here because of people that do jobs like your husband does!!!!! Thank you very much!!!!!!

  7. nikki says:

    Theresa- my husband isn’t in the war, thank God. But I do have a cousin who joined the navy on my husbands side and I have a cousin who has been in the army for 15 years who lives in Germany, and a friend from high school who was in the front lines when this war started. Whether you have someone close to you in the war or not. Support them, show them you appreciate what they have given up to make this world a better place.
    And to comment back about the bullying, my son wouldn’t hurt a fly. We do teach him to walk away if at all possible, but don’t let someone beat up on you all the time. I should’ve said this in the beginning but he did talk to this kid the next day and told him he would punch him in the nose if he ever touched him again, which I know couldn’t have been easy because he so soft spoken. So far so good.

  8. kweenmama says:

    If the school ever contacted me about the misbehavior of one of my children I would ask to be able to hear both sides of the story. If I find that my child is in the wrong I would whole-heartedly back up the school in whatever disciplinary action they decide, and I would work hard to re-teach the value at home.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Reading some of the comments above I’m not sure if everyone will agree with this or not.

    Definitely! I would support the school 100%. I’m really not saying that because I’m a teacher either!

    I grew up hearing stories from my father of going to school in the 1940’s. He spoke of fistfights at school where the school bully would be beaten up by a group of kids who had finally had enough, and a group of teachers would be standing there cheering them on in the school parking lot. He spoke of avoiding trouble in school at all costs because there would be hell to pay when you got home from school if the teacher had to talk to your parents about your behavior. It was far worse he said than anything that would have happened to you at home because the last thing your parents wanted was the embarrassment of a child that was known to be a behavior problem. He said his parents never once questioned whether he was guilty or not, the thought never crossed their mind. Adults were ALWAYS in charge, kids were not.

    This is far cry from the way things are today. I remember vividly my senior year of high school. We had a senior skip day where students took off to a party at someone’s camp, and several of them were pulled over during the course of the day for driving under the influence of alcohol as well as possession of drugs. A couple students even were involved in a minor car accident. When the school tried to discipline the students for skipping school several of the parents arrived at the school outraged that the school would dare punish their child for what had become a senior tradition for years. One mother even went so far as to claim that her son wasn’t even there, even though he was the one who had his name in the newspaper because he was ticketed for drug possession and illegal driving. Even with a copy of the newspaper in front of her she still swore it wasn’t him and HER son was NOT going to serve his two weeks of detention.

    Big deal…two weeks of detention…he already had a police record. I can’t imagine what she told the police!

    I’m not really sure what she was hoping for as an overall outcome from the experience, or maybe she hadn’t planned that far ahead. Needless to say, at 30 years old her son still lives with her.

    Oh, and for the record, I was one of 9 that didn’t participate in senior skip day, even though I REALLY wanted to at the time. I guess in the end I was glad I didn’t. The administration and teachers that day doted on us and let us do as we wished, they even ordered in pizza and ice cream for the day as an attempt to ‘reward’ us for being good. So who really had the skip day? We didn’t have to attend any classes and got to hang out in the lounge and eat pizza. My classmates were all arrested.

    I fully intend to support the school when they inform me that my child has been up to no good.

  10. TiredMom says:

    As far as the question “So fellow parents, would you argue with the school if your child got into trouble or broke school rules or would you make them pay the consequences?”

    It would totally depend on the rule that was broken and what the circumstances surrounding the situation were.. if my child did what I felt was wrong then i’d back up the school but if I felt my child was right then i’d back them up.. It all depends on situation..

  11. Jennifer says:

    It’s really funny….I’ll really be a stickler (or so I think!) when it comes to my children’s ability to learn! (Right TiredMom? As evidenced by the HUGE comment I left on your blog) but when it comes to straight rules and discipline and I have no problem siding with the school. I figure misbehavior is misbehavior.

    I just don’t want anyone to mess with my kid’s ability to learn….now that gets me riled up….please don’t try the one size fits all approach….or then I tend to fight back a bit

  12. Joy says:

    Tiredmom, I’m not talking about “learning” either as it was evident to my advice to you but I’m talking the simple rules most kids should have learned in Kindergarten. I’m talking bus rules, safety issues, lunchroom and playground issues, vandalism and mostly, just common sense. I got into a war of words one day with someone on another site because her daughter was involved in a “food fight” and that she didn’t make her daughter have the detention because she felt it was a “small food fight” and they did it “just for fun“ and her precious gem of a daughter never got into any kind of trouble before. It was just “for fun”!!! I have seen very dangerous situations arise out of food fights. There is no “fun food fight.” Things get thrown and people get mad and then it’s not fun anymore. It gets slippery, people fall down and then everyone’s clothes have to be changed. Then to top it off everyone leaves the lunchroom and who’s left to clean up “all that fun?” The lunch staff and the custodians.

    I don’t think parents realize that there are rules for a reason. I also feel if you have to decide what rules should be enforced, it’s sending a bad rule of thought to your child. Then it’s like every parent is making their own rules and if they don’t like the school ones, their child won’t have to pay the price of misbehaving because then that child will just think “oh, I’ll tell mom I didn’t do anything and she’ll fall for it.” My kids knew if they got a note sent home or I got a call, there would be trouble and I feel that’s how it should be.

    It got to the point with me that had I not moved, that last year I was in the district, with the kid pushing me around and having someone throw food at me (because they can), I would have quit my job. Because kids and parents were taking over to much and we couldn’t enforce the rules anymore to keep them safe. It’s not about the kids who keep the rules, it’s the kids who don’t and the innocent ones are the ones who are going to slip on food and fall and be hurt and then we’d be hit with “where were you and how could you allow food fighting?” It’s a no win. If we punish, we’re mean and if we don’t, we aren’t paying attention.

  13. Jane says:

    Boy, if I got in trouble at school, I didn’t want to go home because the trouble would really start then.

    When I was in 8th grade, an “insignificant” thing like a “little food fight” broke out. I got three of my front teeth knocked out from a pop can. I had braces so there was a lot of damage to my mouth. Lots of money and three long years of weekly dental visits and lots of $$$$$ to my parents. My best girl friend tried getting me out the door and she got a black eye from an elbow of some giant boy. Everyone was slipping on food and the lunch trays…they were all over the floor. It was awful and it was scary. The football team thought it would be a fun thing to do. Funny thing, there was no football for the rest of the year and the parents of the boys thought it was ridiculous. It was such a “small” thing they thought. Those are always the parents right?????

    There is no such thing as a “little” fight of any kind and I really respect the people who work in schools every day. They get it from both ends. No way would I ever do that.

    It was big in our news one day that a girl took a knife to school to cut her meat and it got taken away at lunch and she had gotten a detention for it but had the school not taken the knife away and something happened after school or someone was hurt, they would have said “school saw knife and did nothing.”

    There is no winning situation when parents get that involved in trying to change rules. You need to go to your school board and NOT do it in the lunchroom or on the playground. In many cases it’s not even up to the principal to change things.

  14. Liza says:

    My mom was a teacher for over 20 years and quit her job 6 years ago because of this issue so it doesn’t sit right with me. It had gotten to the point that kids couldn’t be disciplined anymore without parents running up to the school for everything and she had to “explain” herself to the point that she couldn’t do her job well anymore. She got pushed one day and fell over a chair and she sent the kid to the office and his parents REFUSED any punishment for him. She said times have changed and not for the good. It’s sad what she lost.

    When I have kids, they will abide by all the rules no matter where they are. I don’t think it’s up to us to question the simple rules that should be in place to maintain order.

    My mom was really good teacher but when your always thinking about what might happen and kids just run wild and the parents think it’s okay, what are you supposed to do?

  15. jderickson says:

    My god can’t you guy’s write longer comment’s. It’s been a couple of day’s so I will be making a lot of comment’s tonight, look out. I’m a rule breaker. So kill me me wife wants to half the time. Guess what? rules apply to everyone but me seat belts, parking, speeding, lane changing……… I can’t help it. I need help. If I don’t think a rule or law is justified I don’t follow it. But I teah my son to. what a hypocrite right!! At least I can say he knows right from wrong. Now it’s up to him to do what he feels is right. I’m just glad he has his mothers big heart (enormous). My son knows what rules in school he has to follow and he knows what mom and dad will punish him for. But thank god he’s a little home town boy. Goooooooo Gooooooophers, vikings, twins and america love it or leave it

  16. Joy says:

    But Jason, you hardly ever got in trouble at school. You knew we’d be really mad.

  17. TiredMom says:

    Joy the simple rules that are there for safety and well being.. I certainly back the school up. My child acts up.. By all means punish them accordingly.. My son was acting up on the bus over and oer again.. THe bus driver liked to complain to me about it. I punished him at home for his behavior.. it got no where.. I told her.. WRITE HIM UP! Do something about it! only then will his behavior change when he knows there are consequences for his actions. I’ve complained to the school district over and over again for how out of control our buses are and they tell me “they can’t punish the kids because the parents flip out” Most parents do not back up the rules.. When it comes to their safety.. I do.. Those rules are there for a reason.. There are other rules that I’ll run into when my kids are older that I feel are just there to aggravate and if my kid is right i’ll back them uip.. if they are wrong.. i’ll side with the school..

  18. Sue says:

    I think I would back the school up. I say that now, but maybe I’ll think differently if my child ends up in the office! I hear TiredMom loud and clear about the bus issue. My daughter HATES riding the bus and I finally got it out of her that there is a boy AND a girl that are bullies. The girl starts in first and when she gets off the boy takes over! Come to find out(from a bus driver who also owns the company and has dealt with this child for years) that the boy has been written up so many times and the school has done all they can, but the parents do nothing so his behavior continues. I am just thankful my daughter only has to ride 1-2 times a week. Thank you for being an active parent TiredMom and doing your part. Now if we could all work together things might change!!!

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